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Just Ordered this Amp for my Horns


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4 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

https://www.amazon.com/Topping-Amplifier-Balanced-Headphone-Speaker/dp/B09MS55X6Z

 

Fabulous reviews. Second only to Benchmark AHB2. We shall see next month............

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-pa5-review-amplifier.28512/

 

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China junk? Or surprisingly good? Do graphs say anything about musicality?

Two years ago, I bought a small class D amp with tubes, 2x 50 Watt, for a fraction of the price (70 euro compared to this topping 349 euro). I like it a lot, it sounds a bit harsh, but has a lot of power and even comes with bluetooth and 2 aditional inputs. I have used it with my RP160Ms and my Heresy's. It has treble and bass nobs too.

I'm going to hook it up again, due to your post, just to see what it does to me now, after many months of listening only to a Leben CS300. What do you think?

 

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1 hour ago, CWelsh said:

I will be interested to hear how you think this compares to the TI 3255 based chip amps. People seem to be blown away by the Topping line.

I have a few others from a few years ago. Currently using a VX2 on one of my computers with Radio Shack Speakers. My other computer is an HP Omen driving a 55 OLED TV as a monitor for Photoshop work. The Audio output of another DAC/Chip amp under test is driving Klipsch RP600's or the KEF 50's.

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7 hours ago, MeloManiac said:

What do you think?

I think that if I ever wanted to "go back" to Tubes, it would be on the Signal/PreAmp Side ONLY, not for power output I would stick to the superior control and impedance/reactance issues by Solid State, Class D or not.

 

We have so many great choice for less money nowadays. It still amazes me. After all, you can make your ears bleed with only 10 Volt Power Supplies on flea power amps with Big Horns.

 

I bought a newly recapped Marantz Model 8B in 1982 (something PWK approved of when I told him in 1985). I paid $350 for it, sold it to my best friend's son for $700. He then sold it for $1,500 to a Japanese guy. I suspect that now that it's in Japan, it's worth about $3,000 in equivalent Yen! But who knows?

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1 hour ago, CWelsh said:

I will be interested to hear how you think this compares to the TI 3255 based chip amps. People seem to be blown away by the Topping line.

You'll be the Second to know. LOL.

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1 hour ago, tromprof said:

I have been restraining myself from ordering one to see how it compares to my Schiit Aegir on the K402s. I also eagerly await your review.

My basement Edgar Titan II, all Horn setup, with Seismic Sub with it's own Amp and PEQ boost gets me down to 25 Hz. will be the test bed.

 

I optimized the mid and bass horns to be time aligned within about 1/10th of a wave at the 500 Crossover point. It is EXTREMELY revealing as the closest thing to Headphones in sound resolution!

 

Just I don't need another DAC as I use a Yamaha Pre Pro CX-A 5000 with the excellent ESS Sabre DAC chips + YPAO room correction as the best tech can offer for even 2.1 use.

 

I have an A/B switch for speakers and may employ that if I can get the gains adjusted to within 0.1 db when I test. The specs alone tell me that it's better than the excellent A07 Aiyima with TPA3255 I'm using now that sounds better than the old Hood 1969 class A.

 

We shall see indeed!

 

PS: I'm not going to bother with the SMSL THX AAA 888 Headphone amp on the horns like I had planned, which I will actually use on my Monoprice Planar Headphones instead! The Chinese do ROCK "a la affordable excellence" in their own way. It's not about Bruce Lee and Jet Li anymore! LOL.

 

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I purchased a PA5 before Christmas and it arrived just before New Year's Day.  I got it to go with the Jubilees that I purchased from @PrestonTom back in October.  I first started with an old Denon AVR-2000 to power the K-402s.  However, the noise floor was much too high and annoying with the sensitivity of the 402's.  I first put a voltage divider on the output of the AVR-2000 to get me by ... helpful, but not good enough.  Was seriously considering the Hypex nCores and just about pulled the trigger on first a Buckeye - but was too impatient to get on his build list - and then the VTV.  After reading Amirm's review, and seeing the PA5 specs (noise < 16µVrms) I went ahead and got the PA5 since at $350 it was a no-brainer to check it out.  The PA5 is dead silent and problem solved!  Plenty of power ... the loudest I ever listen is around 85-90 dB SPL so the PA5 has a lot on reserve, even for the 16 ohm 2445J's on the 402s.  I'm ready to order another PA5 for the BBs and possibly one more for the 16' tapped horn (Danley DTS-20 inspired 8' tower) I'm in the final throws of completing.  BTW, in the audiosciencereview thread there were complaints about the use of TRS connectors on the PA5.  I just cut a stereo TRS patch cable into two as I needed to have individual wires anyway to connect to the miniDSP 4x10HD I used for the Jubilee crossover and PEQ.  Also BTW and a bit off-topic, after years of tinning wires, I purchased ferrules and a crimping tool based on a comment somewhere on the forum for the balanced connection to the miniDSP.  Highly recommended!

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FFBman: That is good news on finding a quiet amp for the Jubilees. It is not always an easy thing to do. I went in circles trying to find a  low-noise amplifier for my Klipschorns many years ago.  

 

Do you find the minDSP to have any hiss, buzzing or noise? They certainly have a number of attractive features. 

 

Good luck,

-Tom

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I have been restraining myself from ordering one to see how it compares to my Schiit Aegir on the K402s. I also eagerly await your review.
Me, too. My Aegir has been dead silent, reliable and sounds great but curiosity will probably win here.

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Tom, no issues with the miniDSP. It’s dead quiet as well. I’m running a souped up Intel i7 NUC as my source with optical out to the miniDSP. Most material is streamed and high bit/high sample rate, so system SNR is excellent now. Overall I’m very happy with the miniDSP. Only limitation I’ve come across is the max of 5 biquads per channel. But I figure if I need to PEQ more than that (5 for BB, 5 for 402s), I’m doing something wrong.


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Westcoastdrums, the PA5 is a dramatic improvement over the Denon. In addition to the absolutely quiet background (I put my head as far as I could into the 402 and heard no noise at all … it sounds the same whether the amp is on or off!) the mid/highs are much crisper, brighter, and “faster” (if that makes sense). I’m not knowledgeable enough to understand why. Maybe faster slew rate or higher damping factor? Unfortunately the specs on the Denon are quite limited so I can’t do a technical comparison. But as soon as I turned it on, the difference was instant and real. I haven’t experienced high quality amps in decades, so I really don’t know what a great amp sounds like anymore, but the PA5 sounds really good to me and pairs well with the 402s.

One thing I came across is that after having the PA5 on for a while, I got a high frequency hum. I should have put it in the spectrum analyzer to check the signature of it. In troubleshooting I found that the hum went away by disconnecting and reconnecting the mains to the miniDSP that I’m using as a preamp as well as an EQ. I eventually was able to get rid of it altogether by making sure the PA5 and miniDSP power cords were well-separated. I originally had them in a common conduit. I’d be very interested in hearing about anyone else that experiences this with their PA5s.

I’m looking forward to what happens on the Jubilee BBs when I get a second PA5. I’m currently driving that with another really cheap integrated amp, so I suspect I’m currently missing the true BB experience.


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